If you have arthritis in your knees, ask your doctor about including exercise in your treatment plan. Exercise can help relieve pain and stiffness.
Stretches the front of the thigh.
Stand behind a sturdy chair or next to a wall for balance. Bend one knee and bring your heel up toward your buttock. Bring hand to the ankle and gently pull your heel closer to your body. Hold stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on other leg. Do this one to two more times. Try not to lock out the knee you are standing on.
Stretches the back of your thigh and behind your knee.
Lie on the floor with both knees bent, feet on the ground. Bring one knee toward your chest, putting your hands behind your leg (don’t put hands behind the knee). Straighten your leg and gently pull it towards your head. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Alternate legs and repeat 2 or 3 more times.
Straight Leg Raises
Strengthens the front of your thigh.
Sit on the floor with legs in front of you. Bend one knee and hold with the hands. Tighten the thigh muscles of the straight leg and raise it off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and bring leg back to the floor. Repeat for 3 sets of 10. Alternate legs.
Sit and Stand
Increases range of motion and strengthens back of thigh and glutes.
Stand in front of a sturdy chair that won’t move with a table or counter top in front of you for support. Feet should be hip distance apart. Press hips back first, then bend your knees slowly and lower yourself to the chair. Tip forward from the hips and push through your feet to stand back up. Repeat at least 4 more times, gradually building up more reps.
Body Weight Squat
Progression from the Sit and Stand exercise. Same set up as above.
Feet may be a little wider than shoulder width. Instead of lowering all the way down to a seated position, only lower down halfway. Push through heels and stand back up. Work up to 5-10 reps.